The missing translations

Between 1999 and 2001, initially with Paul Birch and then on my own, I wrote a series of business books for publisher Kogan Page titled Instant X where X was something like creativity or time management. These did reasonably well - a couple are still in print (and some out of print ones are available as bargain price ebooks - one is even free).

These books were written for a small advance, but some have made a steady little income through translations. To give you an idea, there are eight books in the series, but this is what my set of unique copies looks like:

Those eight books have gone a long way

After the first handful, the rest are all either in different languages or versions for other countries.

This is lovely, but there is something of a frustration that attaches to my rather nice boasting shelf. I haven't got copies of all the translations. Every now and then I will get a letter from the publisher to say they have sold these books in Indonesian - or a new entry will creep onto the royalty statements. And sometimes, as you see above, I get my author copies. But I know of at least two sets that I have never received.

There's something rather spooky about there being some editions of my books out there in the world that I've never laid eyes on. I can but hope they will arrive one day.